Favourite Bad Sitcom-Within-A-Sitcom? - Macleans.ca

Favourite Bad Sitcom-Within-A-Sitcom?


I haven’t checked to see if TVTropes.org has an entry for this, but a common joke on television — mostly comedies, but sometimes dramas in a lighter mood — is to do a parody of a bad sitcom, often with its own theme song. The 10-second sitcom “Makin’ It Happen!” on 30 Rock is an example of this. (A related trope is where the characters are transported — either via a dream or some wacky plot device — into a bad traditional sitcom, which was done well on Supernatural, okay on Scrubs, and badly on My Name Is Earl.) It’s an easy target, but one that’s hard to resist. So does anyone have a favourite parody of bad sitcoms, or fake sitcom theme song, done within an existing sitcom or drama?

The fake sitcom theme song that is still in my brain, 20 years after it aired, is this 30-second bit from Just the Ten of Us where Wendy, the materialistic daughter, imagines that she has a chance to star in a sitcom about a large family making ends meet (something like the show itself, in other words), and re-tools the whole thing into a show about a rich girl and her butler. I have no idea why, but I’ve been known to sing “Wendy and the Butler” at inopportune times.

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Favourite Bad Sitcom-Within-A-Sitcom?

  1. Does "Pigs In Space" count?

    • That was a good sitcom-within-a-sitcom.

  2. How about bad-drama-within-a-sitcom? I.e. Monsignor Martinez in King of the Hill?

    Vaya con dios.

  3. For whatever, it seems like Angel is the only show I ever talk about in comments here. Anyway, I loved the sitcom "Cordy!" from the "What if Cordelia had never reconnected with Angel in LA?" episode. I can't find a link to the theme song though, unfortunately.

  4. Sort of different, but there was also the terrible soap that was always on in the first season of Twin Peaks. I think the opening credits to it featured one actor playing twins in the ep. that introduced Laura's identical cousin.

  5. Jaime, I seem to recall you posting a hilarious "Newhart" clip on this very subject some years back, which was a masterpiece of the aforementioned form. Newhart's delivery was never better than when his fake sitcom-dad said that the twins ("Jenny's my little bookworm") were being watched by their late mother, NOT "from the bottom of Lake Titticaca," but "from the shore of Lake Heaven…where no one ever gets tangled up in fishing line." Newhart's rage-filled reaction to landlord "man-crazy Mona" entering with boyfriend Don Knotts (!!!) is one of my favorite moments in TV history.

  6. How has no one mentioned the show Jerry taking place in Seinfeld?

  7. This is a sort of tragic example to use, but I was always quite amused when The O.C. made fun of itself with "The Valley", particularly the episode when the characters ran into each other in L.A.

  8. As fake sitcom theme songs go, it's hard to beat "The Adventures of Ned Flanders."

  9. Not quite a sitcom within a sitcom, but All My Circuits on Futurama was pretty awesome.

  10. UK Example: "When the Whistle Blows" on Extras — The Office done in bad 70s sitcom style.

    • Kevin, thank you SO MUCH…I don't know why I thought "Mona" for "Smitty," but it's equally funny.

      • Thanks, Kevin. The seething rage Newhart puts into every look is just outstanding.

        Also, the line "We can't just ignore this thing and hope it'll disappear like Jimmy Hoffa, Amelia Earhart, Judge Crater and the comedy team of Wayne and Shuster!" has always stuck with me for some reason.